Waffie is the official logo and mascot of the Owen Lea Foundation. He is a small stuffed dachshund that was picked out by his big sister Shannon and was her present to her new little brother on the day he was born. Waffie was the first gift Owen ever received. Before he could talk, Owen would carry his favorite little animal around saying “Waf, waf”, as in the sound a dog makes. “Waf” eventually turned into “Waffie”, which he has been known as ever since. Anyone who knew Owen well also knew Waffie.
For nearly eight years, Waffie never left Owen’s side. They were together through all of his treatment – through good times and bad – and were completely inseparable. Waffie has had more than his share of “injections”, “IV’s”, and even had his own radiation simulation mask made at the same time Owen had. It was not uncommon to find “Owen Lea and Waffie” posted on the outside of his hospital room. His friend Waffie was almost as much a part of his life as his family, and through the years he came to symbolize the courage, strength, joy, and happiness that Owen always displayed despite the pain and side effects that accompany cancer treatment. Waffie is with Owen today and forever will be. He has become a symbol of life and the optimism and courage displayed from each and every child who must fight this horrible disease. It is our hope that families will continue to draw strength from the smiling little doggie that provided so much comfort to Owen during the most difficult times of his short life.